Two hikers triggered an avalanche on Mount Washington in New Hampshire Saturday night, plummeting more than 750 feet to the floor of Tuckerman Ravine, officials said.
“They miraculously survived but sustained injuries requiring rescue during the overnight,” said Christopher Joosen, a snow ranger with the US Forest Service, in an advisory posted on the website of the agency’s Mount Washington Avalanche Center.
“Through history there have been a number of very lucky people in the world; [there are] now two more of them,” Joosen said.
The hikers, both men in their 20s, suffered bruises, said Colleen Mainville, a Forest Service spokeswoman. She said authorities believe one of the men also fractured an arm.
Mainville said it was unclear precisely when the men fell, but the incident was reported at around 8 p.m. Officials did not identify the injured hikers.
The avalanche center said on its Twitter feed that they plunged roughly 754 feet.
Mainville said the pair had been hiking with two other men and became separated from their friends. They took a wrong turn because of low visibility and ended up in the ravine, where they set off the avalanche, she said.
Joosen listed Tuckerman Ravine on Sunday as having moderate or low avalanche danger in various parts. Huntington Ravine was rated as having moderate danger.
“In many areas you will find old hard surfaces such as down low in Left Gully, Central Gully, and Odell, while in many others such as the Sluice, Center Bowl, and the Chute you will find unstable wind slabs with poor to fair strength,” Joosen wrote. “If you transition from stable old surfaces to new slab of varying depth, I would be very skeptical about their strength.”
In March, an ice climber died from injuries that he suffered during an avalanche on the mountain’s Pinnacle Gully, according to the Forest Service. Three climbers were hurt in an avalanche in the Central Gully last January.